The North West BT Unions Health & Safety Co-ord is concerned about injuries and deaths caused by Road Safety failings whether it be through accidents, dangerous driving, faulty vehicles, or driver;s error or sudden illness whilst driving.
Faulty vehicles have been the cause of multiple deaths that have caught the media's eye, creating major headlines. With one major accident some years ago leading to a change of law regarding the age of tyres on public service and commercial vehicles; following a long campaign by a mother of a teenage son who was killed because of tyres on the coach he was traveling in, being over 20 years old.
Here, Co-ord member, Derek Maylor comments on the latest Government attack on Health & Safety through lowering the standard of vehicle maintenance and road worthiness test by changing MOT laws:
The CWU has thousands of drivers on UK roads every day with BT/Openreach engineers and also our colleagues delivering mail, we have hundreds during the night, moving mail from depot to depot and night-time engineering works. Our members in the combined huge fleet of all sized vehicles are regularly spending many thousands of hours on the road every working day, so we are massively concerned over road safety.
Grant Shapps the Transport Secretary suggested the move to the Cabinet.
Clearly this is unsafe and will lead to unroadworthy vehicles being driven endangering the safety of our members going about their work and the general public.
Even if the move does go ahead, we will not accept the downgrading of safety and maintenance for any vehicle driven by our members. We full support the comments from the RAC saying that it would lead to a dramatic increase in the number of unroadworthy vehicles and would make roads far less safe.
This comes when the Department of Transport announced the latest reported road casualties for the UK 2021 (published 25 May 2022) which even allowing for a reduction in both local and national traffic due to Covid restrictions, shoed that there were 1.560 people killed and 25,739 seriously injured. That means there were thousands of families with life changing ramifications.
Derek told Unionsafety:
"We will go through the statistics to see if we can ascertain how many of those seriously injured or killed were on the road because of work."
The Co-ord and Hazards campaign have argued for many years that the RIDDOR statistics showing the number of deaths at work, has never included those killed whilst driving to or from work or as a result of their work.
This makes death in work figures grossly underestimated.
The latest Government stats of road deaths and injuries can be read here but they should be done so taking into account this limitation in the statistics as stated by the :
"There is no obligation for people to report all personal injury collisions to the police. These figures, therefore, do not represent the full range of all collisions or casualties in Great Britain. All collisions that were reported by the police and that occurred on a public highway involving at least one motor vehicle, horse rider or pedal cyclist, and where at least one person was injured, are included in these statistics."